Investigating feedback as element of formative assessment in the teaching of senior phase Mathematics

Adendorff, Stanley Anthony (2007-03)

Thesis (PhD (Curriculum Studies))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.


This action research study was aimed at establishing the importance and role of communication, and determining to what extent it impacts on formative assessment in the mathematics classroom with particular reference to feedback. During the first cycle of research it was evident that conditions within the mathematics classroom were preventing this from being realised. If we as researchers were to assess the nature of communication patterns within the classroom situation, then those communication patterns should have existed. Our findings reflect that teachers were generally in control of all aspects of communication of their learners, and that communication was usually a type of monologue, with very limited response from learners to closed questions, (characterised by “yes” and “no” responses), which were frequently posed. The feedback from learners (perhaps inadvertently ignored), was not optimally utilised to enhance learning. Through observation it was determined that teachers’ ability to engage learners meaningfully for longer periods, or to consciously reflect upon their actions, needed to be developed. Praxis as research paradigm, which is based on reflection and appropriate response or action geared towards improving the circumstances or conditions of the people concerned (in this case teachers), underlies this study. This research is furthermore based on the following learning theories: enactivism, constructivism, facilitation theory, action learning, andragogy, reification, and situated learning...

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